The government has also allocated Nu 2mn to procure two more potato grading machines
Food Corporation of Bhutan Limited (FCB) will now use the completed mini dry port in Phuentsholing as temporary parking space for potato trucks coming to the auction yard.
With an increasing number of trucks parking at the yard, it has become a challenge for FCB to manage the trucks at the yard due to increasing traffic congestion.
The temporary arrangement was finalized during finance minister Namgay Tshering’s visit to FCB earlier this week.
FCB receives a maximum number of trucks carrying potatoes and they land up waiting anywhere from 3-5 days to unload. While FCB auctions up to 25 truckloads per day through conventional auction and five truckloads through online auctioning, more than 100 truckloads used to park outside the yard during peak season creating inconvenience for both the staff, truckers and farmers.
Upon consultation with relevant stakeholders, FCB was offered the new mini dry port which could easily house 45 trucks for this auction season. Now with the new parking space at the Mini Dry Port, truckers can unload their goods and go back to bring another round of load without having to wait with no commercial engagement.
The mini-dry port in Phuentsholing is the first of its kind. It was constructed as one of the three components of South Asian Sub-region Economic Cooperation (SASEC) project with Phuentsholing Thromde.
Limited parking space has been an issue since a long time at the yard during peak season because of which FCB had started queuing system from last year for smoother auctioning process.
“We have been using a space below the sewerage tank adjacent to a border town to park trucks carrying potatoes which is unsafe but we had no other choice. Mini Dry Port is by far spacious, safe and convenient”, said Tshering Dorji, the Head of Agriculture and Marketing Department. FCBL had started using the space since last year due to space constraint at the current auction yard. The space was used until recently.
In an attempt to further expedite auctioning service, the minister, during the visit also committed Nu 2mn to procure two grading machines. The machines will be temporarily installed at the port to expedite auctioning for the potato farmers.
Around this time next year, four grading machines along with a warehouse shall be constructed at various strategic locations, the minister assured.
“We have been closely holding on to our idea of having grading machines and warehouse facilities constructed at source so that farmers do not have to do manual segregation which is time consuming and labor intensive. We are excited due to the fact that Lyonpo has agreed to our idea which is going to make a significant contribution in our service delivery”, Dorji Tashi, the Director of Department of Corporate Business said.
Krishna Ghalley from Phuentsholing